If you have just a bit of money saved, you can make it grow through investing. If you do it right, you can eventually live off of your earnings. Starting with safer investments such as retirement accounts and bonds will give you the knowledge and confidence to work your way up. You’ll be able to move up to commodities or real estate later to get higher returns.
Learning How to Invest
If you’re serious about investing and are also thinking about making a career out of it, you might want to consider getting an economics or finance degree. With a finance major, you’ll learn about marketing, banking, accounting, corporate finance, and business ethics. In economics, you’ll learn about both macro- and micro-economics, as well as organizational management. You’ll take math classes that relate to business. Paying for school might be a challenge right now, which is why so many students take out loans. You might think you need a parent when you borrow funds, but luckily, many lenders now offer student loans without a cosigner. That gives you more freedom in choosing the lender and how much you’ll take out.
Whether or not you choose to get a degree, you’ll need to practice where the stakes aren’t as high. When you’re learning how to grow your money, one of the worst things you can do is to jump in and start with your real funds before knowing what you’re doing. If you learn this way, every mistake will be costly, and the only way to learn is to make a lot of mistakes. So, the best way to teach yourself is to start with an online portfolio to learn the ins and outs.
You might consider starting with a money market account. This is a type of savings account that needs a higher minimum balance. But the interest rate is also higher and often in line with current market rates. Although there may be limits on how much you can take out and how often, your money is still fairly accessible. Don’t use a money market account for your emergency fund. A certificate of deposit (CD) is a safe option for saving money. This holds a certain amount of money for a set period. You can’t get to your funds during this time, but in the end, you’ll get the original amount plus interest back. The longer the CD, the more money you will get back.
For longer-term investments, look into real estate. With an active investment, you might flip houses or trade properties. This is riskier since you might not always be able to find a buyer in a hurry. Passive investments are often a better starting point. That might involve getting shares in real estate investment trusts (REIT). Each share represents several properties. Look into commodities, such as precious metals or wheat, coffee, or sugar, as well. You can buy the commodity, purchase future contracts, or buy shares in a company that offers these commodities. With investment funds, you can make the process more passive.